PBPA TD says 781 houses currently on sale in Dublin for less than €200,000 should be bought for social housing instead of wasting the same money on expensive “temporary” modular houses

rbb20Richard Boyd Barrett TD for the People Before Profit Alliance, speaking in the Dáil today has described Minister Alan Kelly’s latest policy directive on social housing as “yet another Alan Kelly false dawn on social housing” and a “puff of PR smoke that signifies nothing.”

Deputy Boyd Barrett said that Minister Kelly’s latest directive simply informs local authorities of legislative powers they already know they have without providing the funds, staff and resources that they actually need to deliver social housing and emergency accommodation.

Deputy Boyd Barrett said also that wasting a reported €190,000 per unit on 500 modular housing units was “outrageous”, when it would be cheaper, quicker and far more appropriate to purchase the same number of permanent houses. Deputy Boyd Barrett pointed out that there are currently 781 houses advertised for sale in Dublin at less than €200,000. (Myhome.ie)

Deputy Boyd Barrett said it was utterly crazy to buy these incredibly expensive and temporary modular homes when for the same money the government could buy already existing permanent homes.

Deputy Boyd Barrett also demanded that the government “open the books of NAMA” to find out what houses, apartments and hotels it had in its portfolio that could be used to help deal with the housing and homelessness crisis.

Richard Boyd Barrett said:

“Today’s announcement of a new social housing “directive” by Minister Alan Kelly to local authorities is a total joke – another Alan Kelly false dawn.

The directive merely “reminds” local councils of legislative powers they already know they have – it’s ridiculous. What local councils need is the money, resources and staff to deliver new social housing and provide emergency accommodation, not pointless directives.

The government’s plan to purchase 500 so-called modular temporary homes is utterly crazy when for exactly the same amount of money they could buy the same number of permanent homes currently on the market. These would be available much more quickly than the modular homes, they would be permanent and they would be much more appropriate for families and individuals.

In addition, there are the thousands of homes that are in the hands of NAMA – again actually existing permanent houses and apartments.  It is utterly outrageous that the government refuses to tell NAMA to simply throw open the books to show them what houses, apartments and hotels they have in their hands and to simply instruct them to hand them over to local authorities.

This government have failed disastrously for four years on social housing, generating the worst housing crisis the country has ever seen. Now at the last minute, panicked by an election, they have resorted to PR manoeuvres and mad-cap plans to try and cover their tracks. We need serious action to deal with the immediate crisis and solve the long-term problem. This government has neither, the will or imagination to do that because they are prisoners of private developers and failed market ideology.”